Mephistophilis Dr. Faustus
Who is Mephistophillis? A demon featured in German folk lore
The Role of Supernatural Character in Dr. Faustus • A Devil • He plays a role which desires Faustus’s damnation. (condemnation to eternal punishment in hell.) • He appears full of hope when Faustus rejects god to secure him to resolve when he faces a difficult option to decide on his contract with Lucifer. • During the pact between Faustus and Lucifer is being sealed, Mephistophilis enthusiastically says “ I’ll fetch thee fire to dissolve it straight” so Faustus’s blood will begin to clear again. • Mephistophilis tries to “ make things happen”, since he desires Faustus’s damnation.
Mephistophilis also explains to Faustus he doesn’t need a wife. If Faustus desires, he says… • “I’ll cull thee out the fairest courtesans, And bring them every morning to thy bed, Were she as chaste as was Penelope, As wise as Saba…” • “I’ll select for you the best of all, And bring those women to your bed every morning, be it Penelope who is known for her loyalty or be it the Queen of Sheba” • These particular scenes or incidents explain that Mephistophilis caters to Faustus’s out of the world demands. He makes Faustus feels extremely proud and powerful. Faustus tastes things which are totally unusual in ordinary life.
Mephistophilis also plays the role to build up Faustus’s empire of greed and demands. • Devils are certainly villains, but they are tragic figures. Why? They are separated from the shadow of god. • Both Faustus and Mephistophilis are similar figures. They both rejected God out of greed and pride. • Mephistophilis certainly plays a role of a mirror, which Marlowe has created to view Faustus’s dimension in the play. Proof??? • Refer to Act 1 Scene 3 Line 76-80.
The Parts in The Play where This Character Appears • Act 1.III.23-111 • Act 2.I.32-168 • Act 2.II.1-77 • Act 3.I.1-126 • Act 3.I.163-99 • Act 3.II.1-104 • Act 3.III.32-53 • Act 4.II.1-37 • Act 4.III.76-106 • Act 4.VII.1-126 • Act 5.I.1-103 • Act 5.II.1-100 • Faustus summoned him for the first time • Sealing the deal with Faustus • Discussing astronomy with Faustus • In the Pope’s resident • Intruding the Pope’s feast and attacking them • Summoned by the clowns in jest • Showing Alexander the Great to the emperor • Attacking the soldiers • Bringing grapes for the Duchess • Stopping Faustus from repenting • Last appearance before Faustus dies
What are the significances of his constant appearance in the play? • He is Faustus’ assistant (Act 1.III.90) • He plays important role to keep Faustus occupied with Black Magic (Act 2.II.74-75)
Is He significant in Faustus preoccupation with Black Magic? • Mephostophilis is significant in Faustus preoccupation with black magic . • This can be proven in certain ways.
In What Way Is He Significan†? • Mephistophilis acts as a guide to Dr Faustus. - He became the messenger between Faustus and Lucifer. • Mephistophilis fetches fire to dilute Faustus’s blood. - As Faustus was about to sign the contract, his blood congealed. So Mephistophilis immediately went to fetch the fire to dilute his blood so that he can sign the contract. • Act 2.I.50-75
After Faustus signed the contract, the word “Homo Fuge” ( Fly, Man ) appeared on his arm. He starts having doubts on where can he fly. This is when Mephostophilis showered him with gifts to delight his mind. • Act 2.I.75-80
Mephistophilis uses his power and cunning to prevent Faustus from repenting. - e.g , when an old man tries to persuade Faustus to repent, he becomes distraught. Once the old man leaves, Mephistophilis threatened to shred Faustus into pieces if he does not reconfirm his vow to Lucifer. • Act 5.I.75